In 2018, 66 per cent (two-third) of individuals in 52 key countries will own a smartphone, up from 63 per cent in 2017 and 58 per cent in 2016, according to Zenith’s latest Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017.
The rapid expansion of smartphone ownership across the world, which has transformed the way that advertisers communicate with consumers, is slowing down as penetration reaches 80-90 per cent in the most advanced markets.
The number of smartphone owners will increase by 7 per cent year in 2018, compared to 10 per cent growth in 2017, 14 per cent in 2016 and 21 per cent in 2015, said the report.
Mobiles to account for 73 per cent of Internet consumption
Mobile devices (including both smartphones and tablets) are now the primary means of accessing the Internet for most users, and will account for 73 per cent of time spent using the Internet in 2018, up from 70 per cent in 2017 and 65 per cent in 2016.
“Mobile Internet use has doubled since 2011, when it accounted for 36 per cent of all Internet use. By 2019, we expect it to account for 76 per cent,” the report noted.
The markets where mobile devices have the highest shares of Internet use are geographically diverse. Spain is top, with an estimated 81 per cent of internet use coming from mobile devices this year, followed by Italy (78 per cent), China and the US (each at 77 per cent) and India (73 per cent).
59 per cent of Internet adspend to be on mobile
The amount of money spent on Internet ads going to mobile ads has overtaken the amount spent on desktop ads for the first time this year.
Zenith estimates that 53 per cent of all internet adspend will go to ads viewed on mobile devices in 2017, and forecast that proportion to rise to 59 per cent in 2018 and 62 per cent in 2019.
In 2019 mobile adspend will total $156 billion, and account for 26 per cent of adspend across all media, the report notes.